There are a lot companies out there (either brick-and-mortar stores or online businesses) selling insoles, arch supports and custom orthotics. And each business touts their products as the best. So how do you, the consumer, know whether you’re getting a true orthotic that’s designed to address the specific needs of your individual feet?
Over the next few blog posts, the WalkEZStore is going to address some myths about the orthotics industry. Today’s topic is about the qualifications of people who sell foot orthotics.
Fact: People Selling Orthotics Often Have No Formal Training
Since the orthotics industry isn’t regulated, anyone can open a business selling over-the-counter arch supports or what they may call a custom orthotic. Most of the people you deal with at these companies are just sales people. They haven’t had a formal postsecondary education in foot care. All they know is how to make a sale, which is what these companies are really all about – selling foot devices that are typically prefabricated in mass.
However, if you want to get a true custom orthotic device from someone who is educated and qualified in foot care, you need to seek out one of these professionals:
- Certified pedorthist (C.Ped.) is a health care professional who specializes in the design, manufacture, fitting and modification of shoes and other footwear, as well as foot orthoses, to alleviate problems and pain of the feet caused by congenital conditions, disease, overuse or injury. In order to become a C.Ped., the person must have a high school diploma, GED or college degree; have successfully completed a pre-certification pedorthic education program (which includes the study of human anatomy, physiology, pathology, biomechanics and gait analysis, as well as orthotic and shoe design, construction, fabrication, fit and modification); and have completed 1,000 hours of patient care experience in pedorthics before they’re eligible to take the C.Ped. examination for certification. C.Peds work with a variety of people, including athletes, older individuals and people with diabetes, to name a few.
- Orthotist (CO) is a health care professional who creates external supports and braces for people with weakened or deformed body parts to meet their individual needs. In order to become an orthotist, the person must have at least a bachelor’s degree in orthotics from an accredited program or a bachelor’s degree or higher in any major along with a post-graduate orthotics certificate from an accredited program; and have completed an accredited residency program. Some orthotists may work as a prosthetist (a health professional who makes and fits artificial limbs for people who have lost a limb), too.
- Podiatrist is a doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM) who assesses, diagnoses and treats abnormalities and conditions affecting the foot, ankle and related structures of the leg. In order to become a podiatrist, the person must have 4 years of undergraduate education, 4 years of graduate education at an accredited podiatric medical college and 2-3 years of hospital residency training. Podiatrists may specialize in surgery, sports medicine, biomechanics, geriatrics, pediatrics, orthopedics or primary care. The majority of podiatrists are board certified. In the United Kingdom and Canada, this type of doctor is called a chiropodist (DCh).
Kathy Carandang is the owner of the WalkEZstore and the creator of the ezWalker® orthotic products. She is a C.Ped. who understands foot biomechanics and the appropriate use of corrective footwear based upon her training and personal experience. She has worn custom orthotics for over 20 years.
The ezWalker® Custom Performance Orthotic is different from other types of over-the-counter arch supports and custom foot orthotics. Kathy has developed a 7-step casting process that creates a biomechanical impression of your foot, allowing it to determine your arch height. With this impression, she creates a customized orthotic that controls pronation and guides your feet to a better biomechanical gait with every step you take. If you have common foot conditions, like bunions, plantar fasciitis or metatarsalgia, proactive use of the ezWalker® Custom Orthotic can help relieve any pain you may experience from these conditions.
Also, the ezWalker® Custom Orthotic fits in all types of shoes since it’s ultra thin and only ¾ length. Since the ezWalker® Custom Orthotic can be purchased via the Internet, anyone – from anywhere – can own one. So try it today!
Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.